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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Apr 1;94(7):3116-21.

A common mutational pattern in Cockayne syndrome patients from xeroderma pigmentosum group G: implications for a second XPG function.

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Department of Genetics and Microbiology, University Medical Centre (CMU), Geneva 4, Switzerland.


Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) patients have defects in nucleotide excision repair (NER), the versatile repair pathway that removes UV-induced damage and other bulky DNA adducts. Patients with Cockayne syndrome (CS), another rare sun-sensitive disorder, are specifically defective in the preferential removal of damage from the transcribed strand of active genes, a process known as transcription-coupled repair. These two disorders are usually clinically and genetically distinct, but complementation analyses have assigned a few CS patients to the rare XP groups B, D, or G. The XPG gene encodes a structure-specific endonuclease that nicks damaged DNA 3' to the lesion during NER. Here we show that three XPG/CS patients had mutations that would produce severely truncated XPG proteins. In contrast, two sibling XPG patients without CS are able to make full-length XPG, but with a missense mutation that inactivates its function in NER. These results suggest that XPG/CS mutations abolish interactions required for a second important XPG function and that it is the loss of this second function that leads to the CS clinical phenotype.

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